My kids love hot chocolate, most kids do! I used to buy Swiss Miss hot cocoa mix as a staple, after realizing what was in this “hot chocolate” we quickly made a switch to something real. We use Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder. The only ingredient is Certified Organic Cacao. We use raw honey as a sweetener, but maple syrup would work great too. I recommend using a 1:1 ratio of cacao and honey. The recipe we used is outlined below, but you may need to adjust for your individual taste.
When purchasing your honey, raw unprocessed honey is a good choice. 75% of all honey sold in stores contains no honey at all. A comprehensive investigation conducted by Food Safety News (FSN) has found that the vast majority of so-called honey products sold at grocery stores do not contain any pollen, which means they are not real honey. “Raw honey is thought to have many medicinal properties,” says Kathy Egan, dietitian at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. ”Stomach ailments, anemia and allergies are just a few of the conditions that may be improved by consumption of unprocessed honey.”
Cacao contains a naturally rich supply of antioxidants and is a good source of dietary fiber. Raw cacao contains the highest concentrated antioxidant of any other food. It is also known to be one of the highest dietary sources of magnesium, flavanols and polyphenols. Cacao polyphenols may improve the health of your heart and brain arteries by serving as antioxidants and inhibiting blood platelets from forming a clot. If your blood cholesterol is somewhat elevated, cacao polyphenols may also lower your low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol, and raise your high-density lipoprotein, or “good” cholesterol levels.
Cacao may help to keep your bowel movements regular. A 1-ounce serving of raw cacao nibs contains 36 percent of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber, or 9 grams. Adding as little as 6.6 grams of cacao fiber per day to your diet may improve your bowel habits, according to a clinical study appearing in “Nutrition and Metabolism.”
Cacao products appear to be heart-healthy as well. One of the main health benefits of cacao is for the arteries in your heart and brain. Eating cacao foods such as chocolate several times per day may decrease your likelihood of having a stroke or heart attack, according to clinical studies published in the “Journal of the American College of Cardiology” and the “Journal of Internal Medicine.” In both studies, the frequency of stroke and heart attack in human subjects declined with an increase in chocolate intake. (Source)
The Rich Chocolate version of Swiss Miss hot chocolate contains the following ingredients (items in red are at risk of being genetically modified):
SUGAR, NONFAT MILK, MODIFIED WHEY, COCOA (PROCESSED WITH ALKALI), CORN SYRUP, HYDROGENATED COCONUT OIL, LESS TAHN 2% OF: SALT, DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, SODIUM CASEINATE, CARRAGEENAN, DISODIUM PHOSPHATE.
Besides being full of GMOs, this hot chocolate also contains carrageenan. All forms of carrageenan are capable of causing inflammation, specifically gastrointestinal inflammation… chronic inflammation is a root cause of many serious diseases including heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and cancer. Further, carrageenan is used in animal experiments to predictably cause inflammation, which allows pharmaceutical scientists to test the effectiveness of new anti-inflammatory drugs. In a report Cornucopia released, there is indication that scientists have raised concern about carrageenan’s safety for decades. These concerns are based on their research linking the common food additive to gastrointestinal disease in laboratory animals, including colon tumors.
Swiss Miss also contains hydrogenated coconut oil, which is not a good choice. Hydrogenated oils and trans fats are especially unhealthy because they both raise our LDL “bad” cholesterol while lowering our HDL or “healthy” cholesterol. If you purchase coconut oil, look for labels that say “virgin” and make sure it’s not hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated and contains no trans fats.
Here is the ingredient breakdown for Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder: CERTIFIED ORGANIC CACAO (THEOBROMA CACAO). Theobroma Cacao is a small evergreen tree in the family Malvaceae native to the deep tropical regions of Central and South America. Its seeds are used to make cocoa powder and chocolate.
This recipe is as easy to make as a Swiss Miss packet, I hope you enjoy it!
Real Hot Chocolate
- 8 oz Almond Milk (any milk of your choice will work)
- 3 tsp cacao powder
- 3 tsp honey or maple syrup
1. Heat Almond Milk in small saucepan on stove.
2. Pour milk into mug.
3. Add cacao and honey.
4. Stir to combine.
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